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Sweet dessert wine, 15% alcohol, 375ml
Made from Cyprus variety white and red sun-dried grapes and matured in oak barrel for 10 years.
The oldest named wine in the world.
Commandaria is a dessert wine with a flavor as rich as its history. It is originally believed to have been given its name by crusading knights in the 13th century, but to have first been made up to 5,000 years ago.
It is produced in the fertile high-altitude slopes in the south-west of the island that became known as “La Grande Commanderie” during the Crusades. Around this time, the Knights of the Order of Saint John renamed the local wine after their new protectorate.
Throughout the following centuries, stories of the wine abound. According to legend, King Richard the Lionheart of England was so taken with commandaria that at his wedding he pronounced it “the wine of kings and the king of wines.” Equally struck by the intoxicating liquor was the French King Philippe Augustus who is said to have declared it to be “the Apostle of wines”.
One distinguishing feature of commandaria is that after the grapes are picked (local red grapes Mavro and white – Xinistery), they are left in the sun for ten days, which increases the density of their sugars.
The grapes are then pressed, the wine is fortified (usually with a high percentage grape-based alcohol) and then it is aged for two – five years in oak barrels before being bottled. As the years roll by, the brownish red liquid intensifies in both viscosity and sweetness.
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